Martini ages out of the conclave

Martini ages out of the conclave

Cardinal Carlo Martini, former archbishop of Milan, turned 80 yesterday. He’s no longer eligible to vote in a conclave.

This is something of a turning point. For a long time Martini has been liberals’ great hope for a papacy in contrast to that of Pope John Paul II and then Benedict XVI. Now that mantle must shift to another.

There are now only 109 members of the College of Cardinals under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a papal election. The normative number set by papal edict is 135. I expect Pope Benedict to hold another consistory this year to bring the number up.

Recall that last year we were told that Benedict would vary from JP2’s model of large consistories every few years and would instead hold smaller ones about annually.

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  • I don’t believe you have to be a member of the conclave to be selected Pope by the Holy Spirit!

  • Joe: Actually Martini will still be in the conclave, just not able to vote. And yes, anyone can be elected pope as long as he is capable of being ordained a priest and/or a bishop. But it’s highly unlikely.

    Brian: You’re right. The 135 was the maximum number of electors JP2 ever had after a consistory.

  • Did the Holy Spirit ‘select’ the disastrously bad Popes throughout history? I don’t just mean those whose personal morality wasn’t up to scratch, I mean those who put the Church on the wrong course by their decisions or teachings. It HAS happened.

    The doctrine is: legitimate Popes by virtue of the Petrine charism cannot define positive error in matters of faith and morals to be believed de fide. That is a very limited, narrow charism.

    Also, I don’t think cardinals over 80 enter the conclave proper; but they remain members of the college of cardinals.

  • Only God knows if or when His choice of pope was ignored, I think. Until He tells me otherwise, I’ll just go on believing He’s had His reasons, all along.
    It feels weird to think about having enough cardinals to elect a new pope when Benedict is relatively young, healthy and NEW. I guess anything could happen, but I sure hope there’s no reason to elect a new pope any year soon. I was kind of hoping he’d live to be at least 120!